In sales analysis, sales assessment, sales development, sales skills

This is the first of a new blog series on the 7 types of sales skills to look for within your sales team. A well developed candidate assessment helps you identify which selling skills already exist within your team in addition to how to build a sales team to fill those needs.

How Does Your Sales Team Measure Up?

A harsh truth is that when it comes to sales best practices and locating new business, many reps lack what it takes to be truly successful. That said, just about every one of your sales people has strengths and qualities that can be nurtured and cultivated. In light of this, the big question is, “Do you have the right people in the appropriate positions for optimal results?” To ensure that you do, first consider “who,” then “what” – hire the right people, then place them optimally.

When it comes to finding new business and closing deals, the right combination of sales skills and strengths determines a sales person’s ability to be successful with your company. When building a sales team, the sales job description may require a high degree of very specific skills. At Alignment Group, we evaluate seven primary sales skills when reviewing candidates:

  • Hunting
  • Consultative Selling
  • Qualifying
  • Closing
  • Account Managing
  • Farming
  • Sales Posturing

There is more to a successful sales person than skills and tactics, however, the purpose of this blog is to provide an overview of the seven sales skill sets we analyze with our sales assessment.

Hunting

A sales associate with solid skills in this area will be extremely effective at prospecting for leads. Diligent effort is required to prospect for new business and a rep with strength in this area has the willingness to do so on a consistent basis.

A sales rep with strong hunter methodology will:

  • utilize sales 2.0 tools
  • attend networking events
  • prospect consistently and effectively
  • set numerous appointments
  • get past barriers to decision makers
  • be self motivated
  • have little need for approval
  • recover quickly from rejection

Consultative Selling

Skills that revolve around the social aspects of selling are present in a sales person with solid consultative skills. They first identify client needs and then follow up with solutions. A rep with strong skills in this area excels in initiating, developing and maintaining relationships.

A rep with strong consultative skills will:

  • anticipate needs of prospects and develop rapport
  • ask qualified questions
  • be an active listener
  • make presentations at the appropriate time
  • uncover compelling reasons to make a purchase
  • take nothing for granted
  • enjoys sales

Closing

Closing can be seen as the natural end to the consultative sales process. However, there are certain attributes necessary to master closing skills.

A sales rep with solid closing methodology will:

  • meet with decision makers
  • not need to be liked
  • make appropriate promises and proposals
  • motivate prospects to take action
  • make consistent attempts to close deals
  • remain undeterred by put-offs or stalls
  • will stay in the moment when closing
  • will find a way to close the deal

Qualifying

A sales rep with qualifying skills excels at screening prospects. This individual will be thorough and realistic about the chances of closing a sale and he or she will be able to accurately assess the needs of a prospective client.

A sales person with strong qualifying methodology:

  • guides prospects toward a decision
  • makes appropriate promises and proposals
  • moves past barriers to decision makers
  • makes consistent attempts to close
  • Not reliant upon approval
  • Is a decision-maker
  • Controls their emotions
  • Undeterred by put-offs or stalls

Account Managing

A sales person who is a good account manager excels at maintaining business within existing accounts and is able to cultivate and grow the account.

A salesperson with solid account managerial skills will:

  • build strong client relationships
  • meet with decision makers
  • understand and uncover budget concerns of prospects
  • manage organizational politics
  • possess efficient time management skills
  • be personable and friendly
  • follow-up often

Farming

The sales skills of a rep with strong farming skills revolve around large enterprise accounts. These sales reps are responsible for account growth and penetration covering the entire enterprise.

Salespersons with strong farming methodology will:

  • be adept and handling objections
  • be able to effectively address budget concerns
  • remain undeterred by put-offs
  • be in control their emotions
  • be personable
  • be a determined closer

Sales Posturing

Sales Posturing refers to a rep’s ability to differentiate themselves from the competition through asking questions, cultivating a great relationship, being a problem-solver, demonstrating expertise and gaining trust.

Sales posturing methodology is when a salesperson is:

  • positive self-image and outlook
  • responsible and emotionally in control
  • independent and goal oriented
  • fosters relationships early in the sales process
  • optimistic and assertive
  • possess consultative selling skills

Keep Filling the Funnel

When companies hire sales reps or perform a sales evaluation on an existing team, it’s important to understand there are a number of sales strengths that support the skills reviewed in this blog post. The complete picture involves a detailed profile of the sales position along with a review of the strengths, weaknesses and skill sets. An ideal candidate who will gain stellar sales is just around the corner.

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